Due to an obvious miscarriage in ChinaSat-18 telecom satellite, it is still in a transfer orbit since the launch on August 19, 2019. The renowned operator of the satellite (China Satellite Communications or China Satcom is now accused by the insurers, as with this mission failure, the space insurance profits wipe out consecutively for the second year.
Some industry sources informed SpaceNews that ChinaSat-18 satellite, launched through a Long March 3B rocket in August, was insured for $250 Million. People’s Insurance Company of China reinsured ChinaSat-18 on the international market. That means, theoretically only foreign insurers are eligible for any claim filed by the company, according to the sources.
The claims for both ChinaSat-18 mission failure and the Vega launch failure in July that destroyed the UAE’s remote sensing satellite insured for nearly $415 Million are possibly exceeded from the total insurance premiums for this year.
ChinaSat-18 was supposed to have undergone a solar array deployment failure. Of twenty-one DFH-4-based satellites launched by China, two have experienced solar array issues. In case, if ChinaSat-18 did not appropriately deploy its solar arrays, the pre-installed batteries in the satellite would most probably be depleted by now and it would be impossible for the operators to contact the satellite.
On a similar note, according to an Iranian official, an aircraft exploded before its scheduled launch at Imam Khomeini Space Centre’s launch pad in Iran. Despite multiple threats by the US on avoiding such activities, Iran was in favor of conducting the launch.
Iranian official informed Reuters that explosion occurred due to some technical faults. However, engineers are working to rectify the faults. The US has been warning Iran from so long to avoid conducting any space launch, as the nation is uncertain if Iran launches any satellite equipped with destructible technology in orbit. Iran’s such space activities could lead to a global threat.